Sandy Springs has scored low—22 out of a possible 100—on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual rating of how well cities protect and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.
The “Municipal Equality Index” rates a city’s LGBT laws and policies in five categories: non-discrimination laws, municipal employment policies, municipal services, law enforcement and general relationship with the LGBT community.
A total of 10 Georgia cities or areas were ranked, with Atlanta receiving a perfect score and none of the others rating higher than 44. Roswell rated an 11.
Sandy Springs did rate perfect scores on the subcategories of employment non-discrimination laws. Earlier this year, the city tightened its non-discrimination policy to protect LGBT people in all aspects of city business. That policy change was pushed by City Councilmember Andy Bauman following debate over a failed state “religious liberty” law widely criticized as permitting discrimination against LGBT people.
“Our policies reflect an overarching philosophy of inclusion,” said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun.
The Municipal Equality Index report highlights the economic benefits of strong LGBT rights laws and policies.
“Diversity is not just an ethical imperative. It is an economic driver,” writes business professor and journalist Richard Florida in the report’s introduction. “Studies affirm time and time again that diversity and inclusion spur economic growth.”